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Jablonec on the spot to lift Czech Cup

Jan Kopic scored a wonderful 84th-minute equaliser and then converted the winning kick as FK Jablonec overcame FK Mladá Boleslav 5-4 on penalties to lift the Czech Cup.

Jablonec celebrate after defeating Mladá Boleslav on penalties
Jablonec celebrate after defeating Mladá Boleslav on penalties ©Jakub Syrůček

FK Jablonec edged out FK Mladá Boleslav 5-4 on penalties to win the Czech Cup for the second time in their history after a 2-2 draw.

The contest burst into life when Michal Hubník beat two defenders and opened the scoring for Jablonec with a precise finish on 19 minutes. Mladá Boleslav wrestled back the initiative before the break, though, with Jan Chramosta chief protagonist.

The 22-year-old centred for Ondřej Zahustel to equalise (29) and volleyed in himself from David Jarolím's cross on the stroke of half-time. Jablonec coach Roman Skuhravý introduced Karel Piták and Jan Kopic at the interval and the decision paid dividends. Six minutes from time, Kopic combined with Piták and found the top corner with a devious shot from an acute angle.

Then, with the shoot-out locked at 4-4, Mladá Boleslav defender Petr Johana struck the crossbar, allowing Kopic to slide in the winning penalty. "We are delighted to have qualfied for Europe," said Jablonec goalkeeper Michal Špit, whose team will take their place in the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League. "We deserved to equalise based on our second-half performance."

"I feel both tired and happy. We won because of our display in the second half," added Skuhravý, who joins Czech Republic boss Michal Bílek in winning the Czech Cup as both a player and coach."The substitutions at half-time changed the complexion of the match. I thought I was close to a heart attack when the penalties were being taken, so I didn't watch."